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RIA: Nambu 15-Shot Type A Experimental

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Before the Type 14 Nambu pistol was developed to replace the “Papa” Nambu, Kijiro Nambu experimented with a high-capacity design with a 15-round magazine. This pistol was called the Type A Experimental, and was designed around 1920. Only 15 or 20 were made, and they show elements of both the Papa and the Type […]

RIA: Reifgraber .38 S&W Automatic

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Designed by Austrian immigrant Joseph Joachim Reifgraber, this is a prototype gas-assisted short recoil pistol in a .38 rimmed revolver cartridge. While this version did not see any serial production, the Union Firearms Company of Toledo (Ohio) did market a slightly smaller model in .32 S&W (and .32 ACP). The gas-assist, as described in […]

RIA: Walther P38 Development

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The Walther P38 was adopted by Germany in 1938 as a replacement for the P08 Luger – not really because the Luger was a bad pistol, but because it was an expensive pistol. Walther began development of its replacement in 1932 with two different development tracks – one was a scaled-up Model PP blowback […]

RIA: Japanese 8mm Hamada Pistol

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Just as production of the .32ACP Type Hamada pistols was reaching full scale, Bunji Hamada was asked to redesign his pistol to use the standard 8mm Nambu cartridge. This he did, and after several changes required by the Army (which appear to have had more to do with giving the Army some claim to […]

RIA: Japanese 7.65mm Hamada Pistol

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The Hamada was one of very few Japanese military weapons made by a private commercial firm. Designed and introduced in 1940, the basic Type Hamada pistol was a blowback .32ACP handgun similar in style to the Browning model 1910. About 5000 of them were manufactured during WWII, although most of these were sent to […]

RIA: Yovanovitch Model 1931 Pistol

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Lazar Yovanovitch was a Serbian native of Yugoslavia, born in Belgrade. He left engineering school to design firearms, and developed a couple .22 and .380 caliber pistols. None were adopted by the Yugoslav military, but he did use his .380 in international competition at the 1933 ISSF 25m rapid fire competition and the 1936 […]

Ross Model A-2 Pistol Photos

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A reader named Paul sent me these photos of a very odd pistol that was allegedly found in Germany during WWII. In fact, this is a very rare Ross automatic pistol, patented in 1903 by Charles Ross, of the Ross Rifle Company in Quebec. It is a short recoil, toggle locked design, made for the […]

Savage .25ACP Automatic Pistol

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Savage made more than a quarter-million pocket pistols in .32 and .380 caliber, but never commercially marketed a .25ACP design. They did design such a “baby” pistol, though, beginning in about 1912. Despite a significant tooling investment, only 40 were ever made (perhaps because they could not be made cost-competitive with other competing guns). The […]

Today’s New Tech: Red Dot Handguns

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I am often asked what is the coolest new thing in firearms technology…and the answer isn’t anything having to do with the actual gun design. Our guns today are mechanically the same as they were in 1950. What has improved markedly are materials and optics. A Glock is just another simplified Browning tilting-barrel action, […]

RIA: Warwinck Copy of the Savage Automatic Pistol

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The Eibar region of Spain is known as the center of a lot of pistol production from WWI through the Spanish Civil War, typically pistols called Ruby clones. Well, the various small gunmakers there were looking to copy more than just the Ruby. They duplicated a number of American and European revolvers, and on occasion […]